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By Emily Booth, Friday 10th April 2015
Apocalypse Season is upon us people and there’s three more doom laden horrors coming your way Saturday nights in April so this week I thought I’d delve a little deeper into these bad boys. Taking to twitter I asked my various fiends which was their favourite title out of The Day, Planet Terror and Damnation Alley and the general response seemed to suggest that while Planet Terror is all - out gross zombie madness and probably the most fun of the three movies, the lesser known 70’s paranoia flick Damnation Alley had a more ‘Apocalyptic’ feel. With regards to the UK premiere of The Day, well many of you are yet to see it which makes this refreshingly uncharted territory.
So let’s sing the praises of that lesser known Damnation Alley. Coming out in 1977, the same year as other Horror Channel favourite Holocaust 2000, this was clearly a time ripe for movies that revelled in the fear and paranoia of nuclear power; either in the context of war or devastating power station accidents.
The film begins with stark imagery overlaid with text that says ‘The Third World War left the planet shrouded in a pall of radioactive dust, under skies lurid and angry, in a climate gone insane’ ….you can’t help be lured in. starring virile action star of the 70’s and 80’s Jan Michael Vincent (and what boy doesn’t dream of being ‘Stringfellow Hawk’ from Airwolf?!) the movie follows a group of survivors who travel in super armoured vehicle The Landmaster to tackle the harsh terrain of a post nuclear world battling mutant scorpions and killer cockroaches in order to find other survivors while the stunning yet grim backdrop of dramatic radioactive skies serves as a constant reminder, the world has forever changed ….
Unfortunately this film never got the big release it’s $17 million budget deserved due to its production company, 20th Century Fox releasing a certain fantasy actioner known as Star Wars the very same year, thus making Damnation Alley’s bleak desert locations somewhat eclipsed by the huge summer blockbuster. But for this very reason it’s so worth checking out and also features Jackie Earle Haley, who would go on to give an excellent performance as Rorschach in THE WATCHMEN! It’s hard living in someone else’s shadow so let this doomsday movie have its day Saturday 25th April at 10.55pm after the final part of Stephen King’s The Stand!
So what of The Day? Boasting a great cast including stunner Shannyn Sossamon, X-Men’s Shawn Ashmore and The Last Exorcism’s Ashley Bell the action in this film unusually takes place 10 years after civilisation as we know it has collapsed. It is never fully explained what happened being more concerned with the fallout and what such a dramatic change in our concept of life does to the behaviour of mankind. Feeding off the theme of food resources and hunger plant life has become so rare even a small bag of seeds has become gold dust. A group of survivors find themselves trapped in a farmhouse and battling a new human foe, cannibals. Ashley Bell proves herself once again that she has the power and presence to carry a film. The Day gets its UK premiere Saturday 11th April at 22.50.
Now what can I say about Planet Terror? Most of you horror fans have no doubt seen this way back in 2007 when Tarantino brought Grindhouse back in vogue. So I won’t bang on about its story, suffice to say this is crazy bad boy fun from start to finish and features a non-stop onslaught of visual horror feasts and firsts with puss oozing mutant zombies, and of course the insanely hot yet one legged go-go dancer Cherry Darling who sports a fully operational machine gun prosthetic leg. Seriously you need to watch this movie. Again. Planet Terror gets its network premiere Saturday 18th April at 10.50pm.
The end is nigh. But it’s sure gonna be one hell of a party. #HCapocalypse
Related show tags: DAMNATION ALLEY, PLANET TERROR, STEPHEN KING’S THE STAND, THE DAY MORE BOOTH'S BLOG Bloody British Season comes to a climax with The Descent!
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